In previous weeks we have been looking at the will of God and last week saw that often the choice is easy – God says don’t commit adultery and so when the opportunity to break the marriage vow presents itself, it is pretty obvious which option is God’s will for you. But what about when it isn’t so obvious? For example, which career should you choose? Or which person should you marry?
The first thing you need to do is look at which option could have the most sinful motivations. No one makes any decision objectively. We are all influenced in many ways whenever we make a choice. And the strongest influences often come from within our own sinful heart. So when you are faced with an important decision you always need to look at whether one choice has become attractive because of sinful reasons.
What is an example of a sinful motivation? I think the sin of pride is one of the most influencing factors in decision making. We know God does not want you to be proud: ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble’ (1 Peter 5:5). Therefore you must be very careful about making a choice if it will inflate your pride.
Therefore, it is helpful to ask whether you are seriously contemplating doing something because it will feed your pride. For example when choosing a job, the decision will be greatly affected by your pride. In the eyes of the world, many jobs have great power and status associated with them and our sinful selves are often very attracted to those jobs. Whereas other jobs, even though they perform a very valuable service in society, are looked down upon. Also many people choose jobs based on the monetary rewards associated with them so that they are able to live a lifestyle that inflates their pride. So as a Christian you should be very careful about allowing pride to help you make the decision as to what job you will do in society. Some of the jobs that are most exalted by God are the most humiliating in the eyes of the world.
Other sinful motivations you might want to examine yourself for when making a decision besides pride, could include greed, laziness, envy, coveting, lust, hatred, jealousy, anger and selfishness.
Do you examine yourself for sinful motivations when you make an important decision?